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Book Club: Yes Please

We review Amy Poehler's autobiography – and find ourselves smiling from ear to ear…

by Ali Roff

Amy Poehler is one of us. Perhaps a little funnier (OK, she’s hilarious), but she’s real.

The evidence for this can be clearly found in the first pages of her book Yes Please (Picador, £9.99). She’s been writing stories, plays and sketches her whole life – she started her comedy career in improv in Chicago with Tina Fey, and is best known for her SNL sketches and TV series Parks and Recreation. Despite this, she divulges that, ‘writing is hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not… this book has nearly killed me’. We knew Yes Please would be a refreshing read.

Amy is real in the honest sense of the word, from admitting to dabbling in recreational drugs to confessing to delaying apologising to a young disabled girl she upset in a sketch, because apologising is scary and the shadow side of herself wanted to avoid the pain.

Amy’s book is essentially a short history of her own fascinating life; her passion, creativity and determination to create a career that she loves, interwoven with hilarious and outside-the-box advice on everything she has learnt from life so far.

Her messages are clear but not patronising: ‘Part One, Say Whatever You Want’, including her book on divorce; ‘Part Two, Do Whatever You Like’, explaining her world famous sex advice; and ‘Part Three, Be Whoever You Are’, featuring her tip to treat your career like a bad boyfriend.

Wise words indeed, and laugh-out-loud funny.

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